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Creating your podcast

Creating a podcast or audio essay is not as simple as recording yourself reading a paper that you wrote for class. A successful podcast will engage listeners with a strong narrative, descriptive writing and quality audio. Plan ahead and start early. Have a focused message. Keep the audience in mind.

Use the podcast planning worksheet to think through the purpose, audience, structure and tone of your audio project and outline the structure and content.

Watch the first 4 minutes of this video for tips on recording and editing your podcast!

To record audio with your own laptop, you will need two things:

  • Recording software:
    • We recommend Audacity, which is free and works on Windows or Mac.  Please refer to this guide for installing Audacity on your computer. For more on using Audacity, please see the Edit tab to the left.
    • Zoom is a great option for recording and you can edit different clips together in Audacity.
  • Microphone:
    • If you have headphones with a built in mic, use that over your built-in computer mic.
    • If you record with your phone, make sure to keep it close to the speaker, otherwise the audio will sound farther away.
    • To borrow one from the SMDC, just ask for a USB Microphone Kit at our service desk. We have Blue Yeti and Blue Raspberry microphones available for three-day loan. To use the microphone, just plug it in with the supplied USB cable and choose it by name in Audacity.

Audacity is a free, cross-platform audio recording and editing software. If you need to install Audacity on your computer, please refer to this guide: Podcasting Resources [GoogleDoc].

If you are working with m4a files (from phone or Zoom), you will need to download the FFmpeg library.


Garageband is a Mac only, free audio recording and editing software. It is different from Audacity in that it is more centered around creating music with free loops and software instruments built-in. However, it can be used for creating podcasts, and audio essays as well.

When you're finished with your podcast, make sure to export it from the audio editing software to an MP3 file. Then you can submit it to Canvas, post it on Soundcloud or email it.

Code Switch by NPR

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Radiolab by WYNC Studios

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Science Vs by Gimlet

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Ologies by Alie Ward

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